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The Strange Case of. . . .

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
News Headline: ” ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’  takes the stage in time for Halloween.”
OK.
As long as everyone on stage remembers that the first syllable of “Jekyll” should be  pronounced JEEK-ul.
But more to the point:
Happy Halloween!

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Power in reserve

McConnell and Boehner
Republican energy lobbyist Michael McKenna when asked about fellow Republicans who keep saying “I’m not a scientist” when asked about climate change:
“It’s got to be the dumbest answer I’ve ever heard.”
Some people sell our politicians short.
There are four days left to the campaigning.
There is still time to surpass and excel. . . .

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Move along, nothing to see here

Homeless Child
News Headline: “Child poverty in the U.S. ranks among the worst in the developed world.”
Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with developments in the greatest nation on Earth.

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Sometimes we do put on airs

Chuck Hagel
News Headline: “Hagel: I think we are seeing a new world order.”
Which raises the question:
When has there ever been one?

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Frontiers of science

Liquor and Chocolate
News Headline: “Chocolate could reverse memory loss.”
News Headline: “Drinking after 60 actually helps fend off dementia.”
Keep up the good work, researchers!

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Cheer up, the universe isn’t everything

Phase Transition

Cosmologist  Alex Valenkin on how a phase transition could end the universe at any time:
“All of a sudden, a tiny little bubble will appear. It can appear anywhere–under your chair, or somewhere in Andromeda, very far away–and this little tiny thing starts growing at a speed that’s pretty close to the speed of light. And as it expands, all things that it engulfs turn into an alien form of matter. It may be approaching us right now. . . .”
But who doesn’t like a good surprise?

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QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language

Cream
Dave Benson, a Kalamazoo, Mich., reader, regarding reminders that there is no “the” in Smokey Bear, no “the” in front of Magna Carta  or hoi polloi and always a “the” in front of the Mahatma Gandhi and the Rev. Jane Smith, writes:
“And there is The Ohio State University–not to mention an alternative rock band in The 90s named The The.”
Which isn’t to mention a favorite rock band from The 60s that many people called The Cream when, in fact, it was Cream.
Which reminds QT for some reason of another band, Was (Not Was).
Which isn’t anymore.

WRITE TO QT:  qt@zaysmith.com

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Toward the antidisincentivization of plain language

Dictionary
Fox News questioning New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie about quarantines of health workers returning from African Ebola zones:
“So are you concerned that you’re going to disincentivize people from going over there to help stop the outbreak?”
C.S., a San Francisco reader, wants to know when did “discourage” become “disincentivize,” and when can we have “discourage” back?

WRITE TO QT:  qt@zaysmith.com

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Testing positive for politics

Paul LePage
News Headline:
“Maine Gov. LePage seeks authority to quarantine nurse who treated Ebola patients.”
News Headline: “U.S. nurse fights Maine quarantine over Ebola fears.”
The nurse has twice tested negative for the virus.
But she should be careful here.
Obstruction of pandering is a serious crime.

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QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language

Hoi Polloi
Beverly Feldt, a Homewood, Ill., reader, regarding QT’s reminder that there is no “the” in Smokey Bear, no “the” in front of Magna Carta and always a “the” in front of the Mahatma Gandhi, writes:
“Why don’t we take all the ‘the’s’ from in front of  ‘the hoi polloi’ and give them to poor ‘Rev
Jane Smith’?”
You are right. And the Rev. Jane Smith would probably agree that “the hoi polloi” are “the the many”–or “the the masses.”
Just as she might agree that we are about to end Daylight Saving Time, not Daylight Savings Time.
But we would have to check with the Rev. Smith for that.

WRITE TO QT:  qt@zaysmith.com

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